Angelina, Michael and Kids

I wonder if I missed it – the story by ABC News wondering how or if Angelina Jolie’s black kids would do all right with a white family?

I only ask because I exhaled a sigh of disgust when I saw posted on my Facebook page a link from ABC News. It was entitled, “Will Michael Jackson’s White Kids Get Along With Black Family?”

How amazingly ignorant and telling of where the heads are of the producers of ABC News. Not only was it ignorant but ridiculous. Haven’t these kids BEEN getting along with their black family?

I reacted because, still, the illness called racism stings in ways and places we, or at least I, wish it would not. When Angelina Jolie adopted her black kids from Africa, I do not recall any big news story asking if her black kids would get along with their white family.

In that case, it might have been a more justified question, because those kids, Angelina’s,I mean, came from a nearly all-black environment to a white home. Quite the shock, I’d say.

But Michael Jackson’s kids have been close to their black family from the beginning. I would assume they have had plenty of contact with black kids, black culture, black food. So, what’s up with ABC News?

I have tried to watch quietly as stories touching on race have come up since Michael Jackson died. Before this ABC News piece, I gnawed at my fingernails as I watched Marcus Allen, the little African American boy whose summer camp class was told it was not welcome at a private white swim club, fight back tears as he voiced pain about being talked about so poorly by white families apparently concerned that association with black kids would be bad for their children.

I winced and bit my lip as I read what the president of the club said in his club’s defense, saying the problem was not racism but an issue of overcrowding.

OK, I thought. I’ll be stupid today.

The issue for that president is that his members, his paying members, probably threatened him his job if he didn’t do something about getting the undesireables out of their pool.

Little Marcus Allen thought that people “didn’t think like that anymore,” and his mother, the director of the day camp, said that it was ridiculous that in 2009, we were and are still dealing with this type of thing.

Sad as it is, though, we are. We are still dealing with racism because we have never dealt with racism.  Everybody has wanted to believe that just because Barack Obama was elected president that the sticky fingers of racism, a tumor in our society, suddenly dissolved and went away.

How about not?

America is like a patient that knows something is wrong but is afraid to go to the doctor. Our racism is not getting better. It is at best the same, though some explicit, noticeable things have changed.  That is progress for sure.

But what needs to change are the feelings individuals carry inside, feelings of superiority or inferiority, depending on one’s race, that have been incubated and nurtured since slavery. Those feelings are deeply rooted in the psyches of Americans, whether we like it or not. We do not want to admit to the illness. That’s why there’s such a rush to claim “post racial” America. But no such animal exists.

If Angelina Jolie’s black kids will presumably be all right in a white world, not just with a white family, then why would not Michael Jackson’s kids do all right with a black family? Jackson’s kids are in an environment with a grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins whom they love and who love them. They have been in each others’ company since birth. Why would they NOT be all right?

America, America, stop denying this peculiarly “American” disease and let’s deal with it, once and for all. Jackson, ironically sang, “It doesn’t matter if I’m black or white.”

How about that’s an ideal that has not yet taken?

That’s a candid observation.

7 thoughts on “Angelina, Michael and Kids

  1. I once read that racism is like cancer, if you have a little cancer or a lot of cancer it is still cancer- a disease with no cure. I hope that the children are able to hear or read the racist “noise” from the media. They will have enough to just get through each day of grief and loss.

  2. Your observations about racism in America and how it has been played out so obviously in the issues of Angelina & Brad and their children and the Jackson family and Michael’s children is right on target. Thanks for raising my own awareness on this.

  3. When I saw that article I also thought it was ridiculous. As you stated, haven’t Micheal Jackson’s children grown up with a black family that LOVE them unconditionally? So what is the problem? They’ve been exposed to the culture all their lives, and now all of a sudden because their father has passed they’re in danger of not fitting in? Please! ABC must’ve had nothing else better to report on. And this is certainly an excellent point that racism is alive, thriving and well in this country. Good article.

  4. So true! I love the point that we are dealing with racism because we have never dealt with racism. I often wonder if Barack Obama were just a little more tan if he would have been elected at all. I think the fact that he is half white made it easier for some whites to tolerate his existence and certainly made them listen up. Sad to say that things are broken down to complexion, but darker skin seems to promote a tuning out of sorts for some. Complexion is everything in our race and nothing at all and because being black includes so many complexions Michael Jacksons children could very well be black. Tito Jackson has three Sons who are black, but they are the same complexion as Michael’s children I have black cousins who are “pink” and dark skinned cousins who have blue eyes. With that being said I think the children will be just fine in the “Jackson Family Rainbow”

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